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Patient's Cells Could Be Used As Treatment For Parkinson’s Disease

Update Date: Sep 27, 2013 11:00 AM EDT
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Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) taken from a patient holds a potential cure for many diseases, a new study suggests.

A study performed on rodents have suggested that the body may mount an immune response and destroy cells derived from the iPSCs. When the study was performed on monkeys, no such findings were observed. This is an indication that for primates like us, such cells will not be rejected by the immune system.

iPSCc from nonhuman primates successfully developed into the neurons depleted by Parkinson’s disease while extracting only a minimal immune response, the study suggests. Therefore, holding promise for successful transplantation in human beings.

“These findings give a rationale to start autologous transplantation—at least of neural cells—in clinical situations,” says senior author Dr. Jun Takahashi, of the Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application.

iPSCs are cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic stem-cell-like state. This means that they can differentiate into virtually any of the body’s different cell types.

On the contrary, studies in rodents have suggested that iPSC-derived cells used for transplantation may be rejected by the body’s immune system. To test the same effect in animals that were more closely related to humans, researchers in Japan directed iPSCs taken from a monkey to develop into certain neurons. These neurons were depleted in Parkinson’s disease patients.

When they were once again injected into the same monkey’s brain (called an autologous transplantation), the neurons extracted only a minimal immune response.

The study is published online in ISSCR's journal Stem Cell. 

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